Live Large or XL: 2019 GMC Yukon vs the 2019 GMC Yukon XL

By Emily Eppley | September 10th, 2018

When you want a full-size SUV with premium amenities and plenty of seating, the 2019 GMC Yukon has you covered. But what about the 2019 GMC Yukon XL? It comes with more cargo space, and more legroom in the second and third rows. Does that extra bit of space make a difference? Check out the subtle but distinctive differences between these two commanding SUVs and discover which one is right for you.

Exterior

GMC crafted the 2019 Yukon and Yukon XL with a commanding presence and sharp appearance. Bright chrome and signature LED lighting surround the broad GMC grille, emphasizing the Yukon’s wide stance. Just under the grill are active shutters that enhance aerodynamic efficiency on the highway. Choose from 18-inch, 20-inch, and 22-inch aluminum wheels depending on the trim.

New for 2019 is the Graphite Edition that includes 22-inch bright machined wheels, black assist steps with gloss-black accents, black-chrome grille mesh insert and fog light surrounds, body-color grille surround, gloss-black beltline moldings and additional trim. Upgrade to the Graphite Performance Edition for a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 engine and additional interior tech.

Just as its name suggests, the Yukon XL wins in sheer size. The Yukon XL has a wheelbase that is 14 inches longer and is 20.5 inches long overall. The Yukon has a 116-inch wheelbase and is 203.9 inches long overall. The Yukon XL has a 130-inch wheelbase and is 224.4 inches long overall. Behind the third row, this gives the XL the advantage with 39.3 cubic feet of cargo volume, while the Yukon has 15.3 cubes.

Width and height are both the same at 80.5 inches and 74.4 inches, respectively.

2019 GMC Yukon Advantages:

  • Smaller size for better maneuverability

2019 GMC Yukon XL Advantages:

  • More cargo space

2019 GMC Yukon Denali

Interior

The 2019 Yukon and Yukon XL offer the same features but differ in cargo space and legroom. Up front, you can choose heated and ventilated seats with contrast stitching and a matching heated steering wheel for all-year comfort. Get tri-zone automatic climate controls so the driver, the front passenger, and the rear passengers can tailor the temperature to their liking. Plus, Behind the 8-inch infotainment screen is an illuminated storage area where you can store smaller items and charge your mobile device with a USB port.

The three rows of seating can accommodate up to nine passengers in both SUVs. Fold the second and third rows at the touch of the button. You can choose a bench or bucket seats for the second row, depending on the trim. The second-row buckets fold and tumble forward for easy access to the third row.

The Yukon XL delivers the extra legroom you want for adult seating. The Yukon seats are adequate for the family, but if you’re planning to use this as a corporate carpooler, the XL has you covered.

The Yukon has 45.3 inches of legroom in the first row, 39 inches in the second row, and 24.8 in the third row. While the Yukon XL has 45.3 inches in the first row, 39.7 inches in the second row, and a spacious 34.5 inches in the third row. Shoulder room and hip room are exactly the same for both vehicles.

2019 GMC Yukon Advantages:

  • Matches the Yukon XL’s comfort without the heft

2019 GMC Yukon XL Advantages:

  • Extra 9.6 inches of third-row legroom

2019 GMC Yukon Denali

Performance

Both SUVs start with the standard 5.3-liter V-8 engine that delivers 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission. Upgrade to the Denali or the Graphite Performance Edition and get a 6.2-liter V-8 engine 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Both powertrains are available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The smaller, lighter Yukon offers the better driving experience and has a higher towing capacity. The rear-wheel-drive Yukon can haul an 8,500-pound trailer, while the rear-driven Yukon XL can pull 8,300 pounds.

With the 5.3-liter V-8 and rear-wheel drive, you’ll get the same 15 mpg city, 22 highway with both models. Moving up to the 6.2-liter V-8, the rear-wheel-drive Yukon and Yukon XL get and 14 mpg city and 23 highway.

With four-wheel drive, the Yukon delivers 15 mpg city and 21 highway with the 5.3-liter, and 14 mpg city and 23 highway with the 6.2-liter. The all-wheel-drive Yukon XL drags a bit with 14 mpg city, 21 highway with the 5.3-liter, and 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway with the 6.2-liter.

The Yukon has a 26-gallon tank, while the Yukon XL has a 31-gallon tank so you can go longer in between fill-ups.

2019 GMC Yukon Advantages:

  • Smaller and more athletic
  • 200 pounds of extra towing capacity

2019 GMC Yukon XL Advantages:

  • Larger fuel tank

Features and Pricing

The 2019 Yukon and Yukon XL come in SLE, SLT, and Denali trims, and in rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive configurations.

2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali

2019 GMC Yukon Key Features and Pricing by Trim:

SLE: Pricing TBD

  • 5.3-liter V-8 engine
  • 18-inch machined aluminum wheels
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Bose nine-speaker audio system
  • Sirius XM radio
  • Keyless entry
  • Heated exterior side mirrors
  • Remote start
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • 40/60 split-bench third row
  • Front and rear park assist

SLT Standard Edition: Pricing TBD

  • Heated driver and front passenger seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Auto-dimming inside rear-view mirror
  • Power-adjustable pedals
  • Universal home remote

SLT: Pricing Pricing TBD

  • Heated and ventilated driver and front passenger seats
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Hands-free power programmable liftgate
  • Keyless start
  • Power-folding third row

Denali: Pricing TBD

  • 6.2-liter V-8 engine
  • 20-inch machined aluminum wheels
  • 8-inch touchscreen with navigation
  • 10-speaker audio system
  • Bose active noise cancellation
  • Second-row bucket seats with power release
  • Wireless charging

2019 GMC Yukon XL Key Features and Pricing by Trim:

SLE: Pricing TBD

  • 5.3-liter V-8 engine
  • 18-inch machined aluminum wheels
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Bose nine-speaker audio system
  • Sirius XM radio
  • Keyless entry
  • Heated exterior side mirrors
  • Remote start
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • 40/60 split-bench third row
  • Front and rear park assist

SLT Standard Edition: Pricing TBD

  • Heated driver and front passenger seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Auto-dimming inside rear-view mirror
  • Power-adjustable pedals
  • Universal home remote

SLT: Pricing TBD

  • Heated and ventilated driver and front passenger seats
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Hands-free power programmable liftgate
  • Keyless start
  • Power-folding third row

Denali: Pricing TBD

  • 6.2-liter V-8 engine
  • 20-inch machined aluminum wheels
  • 8-inch touchscreen with navigation
  • 10-speaker audio system
  • Bose active noise cancellation
  • Second-row bucket seats with power release
  • Wireless charging

2019 GMC Yukon Denali

Who Should Buy the 2019 GMC Yukon?

When you need three rows of seating and luxurious amenities, the 2019 GMC Yukon will treat you right. The smaller size and powerful engine provide trailering for up to 8,500 pounds and plenty of pep on the pedal when you need it.

Who Should Buy the 2019 GMC Yukon XL?

If you’re looking for a corporate people mover with lots of legroom in the third row and still ample cargo space in the rear, the 2019 Yukon XL is right for you. The third row offers 10 inches more legroom than the Yukon and still provides all the cozy comfort features for driver and passenger.

 

Images courtesy of GMC Media